“Today is the 11th day of the government shutdown with 800,000 government employees still out of work, including 1,400 of my constituents, due to this reckless, irresponsible and high-risk venture of House Republicans. $12.5 million is being lost every hour in work and services the government is unable to perform. Thousands of small businesses and startups—the backbone of America’s economy—are without the Small Business Administration’s guaranteed loans and regulatory approval. And the latest estimate from the Treasury is that if Congress doesn’t vote to raise the debt ceiling by October 17th there is a virtual guarantee that our economy and the global economy could implode.
“Let’s recall how we arrived here as we reach the end of the second week of this government shutdown. It all began when House Republicans insisted that the Affordable Care Act be repealed in order to win their votes to keep the government functioning.
“This non-starter demand has now bled into the debt ceiling debate and mutated into a litany of others: offshore oil drilling permits; ending ‘net neutrality’ policies; approving the Keystone XL pipeline; defunding the 2010 Wall Street reform law; and piecemeal funding of popular government programs. If I were to try to explain this to small children, I’d say it’s as if Harry Potter overdosed on polyjuice potion.
“What I can only expect next from House Republicans is something we’d find in a children’s fantasy book, which is meaningless in the real world. It’s meaningless for the millions of Americans the government shutdown affects, and the low-income mothers and their infants without nutrition benefits. It’s meaningless for pre-school children left without a Head Start program, and the hundreds of people infected with salmonella because the Food and Drug Administration couldn’t do its job.
“House Republicans need to drop the fantasies and bring a bill to the floor to reopen the government with no strings attached. Let’s raise the debt ceiling like we’ve always done to pay America’s bills. Let’s end this manufactured crisis so we can negotiate a long-term, fiscally responsible path forward for our country. Let’s do the job the American people sent us here to do.”